The Future Is With Our Children

By Bill Hodges

©2003 Hodges Seminars International

Children are the only true asset that a country has. It really doesn’t matter how wealthy we are if we have no one to leave it to. How we treat our children, and the environment we create for them, determines if they will be able to pick up the torch and light the way into the future. Being a parent can be a very frustrating experience, almost as bad as having to live through childhood. Many of us have unreal expectations of what we can reasonably expect of ourselves as parents. I like the words of Kahlil Gibran on this subject:

"You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth."

The most important thing you can give your children is love. Probably the next most important gift you can give to them is the ability to trust their own judgment and think on their own. We do not encourage self development by demanding that they believe as we do, simply because we say we are right. Lay the facts before them and help them discover for themselves what is right.

Maybe it is because men and women see their children as a chance for immortality that they try to live again through their children. Only this time they are determined to correct all of the mistakes of their childhood. They strive to make the child what they would like to have been. The truth is we give our children life, and in doing so, give them the opportunity to grow into unique human beings. Whether we like it or not, that is what they will do.

As I think back across my life, some of the happiest days were those when my children allowed me to share in their activities. I was young again when I walked onto a football field with my son, not to relive old days of youthful glory but to learn a new skill from him — the art of officiating. And through the years, my daughter has brought me continual joy by sharing her exuberance for her job and considering me her friend and mentor.

When they leave home, all children are at the mercy of natural forces just as the arrow is when it leaves the bow. We can only hope we have launched them with sufficient power.

Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.

Web site:

Observer News Front Page